Wheat reserves at 2.6 months, gov’t gears up to buy from local farmers
Egypt currently has 2.6 months’ worth of wheat reserves and expects to buy up to 3.8 mn tonnes from local farmers, Supply Ministry Ali El Moselhy told Reuters. The remarks came as El Moselhy inaugurated the wheat harvest season. He said the reserves figure does not include “quantities of wheat contracted for by GASC but which have not yet arrived and it is unclear how much remains outstanding.” El Moselhy added that the government “always” aims to have four months of reserves, but they are now below the threshold because it is the beginning of the harvest season. The newswire notes that the government had said it is aiming to buy 4-4.5 mn tonnes of wheat initially, higher than the figure quoted by Moselhy, who said “I’m always underestimating.”
…Separately, El Moselhy said he could not comment on increasing subsidies until deliberating the issue with the Finance Minister and that he would not want to give false promises, according to Al Mal. Also, mandatory pricing is practically unfeasible, El Moselhy says, as the government does not produce enough commodities and Egypt runs on a free market.